Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 22:34 IST
Mohan Yadav sparks curiosity with claims on Prime Meridian's Ujjain link. Here's all about it
The Prime Meridian in Greenwich is the imaginary reference line at Longitude 0º which divides the Earth into two halves in the east and west.
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Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav, on Thursday, vowed to shift the Prime Meridian from Greenwich, London to Ujjain. At the MP assembly, Yadav said that it was Ujjain which set the time reference for the rest of the world before it was shifted to Greenwich.
The Prime Meridian in Greenwich is the imaginary reference line at Longitude 0º which divides the Earth into two halves (in the East and West) and the time zones of nations are divided depending on their relative position east or west of it. Each degree in either direction from the Meridian is equivalent to 4 minutes and this determines the time in different hemispheres.
During his assembly address, Yadav said that his government will conduct research and work to shift this line back to Ujjain.
“It was our (Ujjain’s) time that was known in the world, but Paris started to set the time and later, it was adopted by the British who considered Greenwich the Prime Meridian,” the CM said. “The adoption of westernisation is an attack on our culture. We will do research at the observatory in Ujjain to correct the time of the world,” he further said.
Why does the Prime Meridian pass through Greenwich?
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, there were two main reasons why the Prime Meridian was made to run through Greenwich. The first is that the USA had already chosen Greenwich as a reference point and the second reason was 72% of the world's trade through sea route using Greenwich as the Prime Meridian.
Greenwich has been serving as a reference point since 1884. Prior to it, different countries and even towns had their own local time without any international conventions, however, the expansion of railway and communications birthed the need for an international standard time.
What about Ujjain?
According to Indian astronomers, who produced works like the Surya Siddhanta and Panch Siddhanta, Ujjain is the first longitudinal meridian and it was reputed for being India's Greenwich before the 4th century BC.
This was also the reason why Maharaja Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur constructed the Ujjain observatory in 1719. In the years that followed, the Maharaja equipped it with the Sun-Dial, Narivalaya, Digansha and Transit instruments which are still functional. Moreover, the observatory is said to be located precisely at the intersection point of the zero meridian and the Tropic of Cancer.
Published December 23rd, 2023 at 22:34 IST